Modern slavery
















































































































Just another example of modern slavery… I stood there for a whole minute not believing what i had just seen! The woman left the car forgetting about the maid. When I saw the man who was driving making signs to her that she forgot something, I directly thought it was a suitcase, until I saw the maid hop out the trunk, and the woman laughing that she forgot her. Click here for an interesting article about the topic by Maysam Ali.

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21 Responses to “Modern slavery”

  1. nightS Says:

    OH my god!!! in the trunk!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Shame on her!! 😦

  2. Rami Says:

    it’s the trend I think! on my way from Aley to Beirut last weekend I saw a Lebanese couple in a 4×4 car also placing their maid in the trunk! SHAME!

  3. Thierry B. Says:

    Such a shame !!!!!!!

  4. Tony Says:

    What would be expected though is that she’s takin the maid to clean some1 else’s house and that has become a habit, one maid of some1 cleaning many other houses, exploited to the max as if it was a cleaning tool or something… The mentality of the people is sad… pretty egocentric they no longer see the human side of other people… thats a shame… then people ask why we have problems in Lebanon.. well it’s just perspective and respect

    Perhaps this will interest you:

    Lebanon on US watch list for failing to combat human trafficking

  5. Rabih Says:

    Yeah.. this is just the tip of the iceberg. What people do to maids in the Arab world is atrocious.
    This is due to the chauvinistic personality Arabs have (and unrightfully so). Even among Arabs themselves (especially in the gulf) you can see that “El mouwatnin” consider the rest of the world as their servants or as 2nd-degree human beings..

  6. Wissam Says:

    From the car plate, I think I know where they from…

  7. Maysan Says:

    OMG…. i’m speechless

  8. nahil Says:

    ummmm r u fkn serious… batal fi respect la humanity even in 09

  9. Y.I Says:


  10. youhoo Says:

    I am and advocate of making this s**t illegal. Not necessarily the job of ‘house made’ but the one Maya refers to as ‘house slave’. And there’s a slight but important difference. Regardless, when my brother was born my parents had to get someone to take care of him and i, and at 3 years old i didn’t know any better. But very soon i became uncomfortable with the whole thing and begged my parents for years and years to not have a house made. And finally they agreed.

    The one major effect I’ve seen this whole thing have on the Lebanese people is discrimination. I can not say if Lebanese people are ‘racist’ by nature, but i can definitely say that they have become so because of this phenomenon. The biggest examples of this show up when a Lebanese person grew up and raised in Lebanon in the midst of all of this, but then moves to a western country where the general population is a mix of ethnicity. And that person’s interaction with people of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, or any African dissent makes it very apparent the attitude the Lebanese person has towards the other people, even if they were his superiors (at work or in social class).

    This has done more damage to the Lebanese people than imagined. What happened to the time where children were sent to daycare? or when the grandmother was helping the working parents? or when we were afraid to ask our neighbor to look after our kids while we’re gone? Bring back those days!

  11. Anas Says:

    Goddamn it! maids are employees, not slaves. The law should protect them and their abusers should be fined and even sent to jail!
    or just commuted around in the trunk of a 4X4 for a week or so, douche bags!

  12. Rawad Says:

    Urge to smack…rising

  13. Hanzala Says:

    i am not surprised…
    by the way they are not called “maid”, the appropriate term is domestic worker..
    gr8 blog!gd luck with the boook

  14. Omar Says:


    On a similar note, if kids helped out more in the house, people wouldnt need maid.

  15. D.R.Bouloot Says:

    if she is going to shop for thousands of dollars why the hell she has to take her “maid” with her anyway and put her thru everything..the car (trunk experience…) her Mrs. high spending vs her low miserable salary…etc
    maybe if she had opened her eyes (see illustartion) she might had remembered the trunk…hihihihihihiiiiiiiiii

  16. mika Says: comment:((

  17. Pazuzu Says:

    basita, if everyone of us says/does something about whenever they see things like this taking place, then opinions will shift. If you dont want to actively do anything about it, you can just argue with every visitor comes to your place dragging a maid behind, especially if it’s a family reunion. And every time an incident about an “evil maid” betraying her employer is mentioned, correct the speaker’s information, by talking about migrant rights and labor rights and human rights.

    you can also go to events regarding migrant workers rights in your country… shame all shameful acts

  18. Simba Russeau Says:

    Hi Maya. Thank you for this illustration. I liked it because it talks about an important issue that continues to go unreported in the media.

    For all the people who have left comments of outrage, I appreciate your sympathy it’s very important for all of us to condemn these practices, and by the way it is not only Gulf people who do that, in Lebanon this happens on a daily basis, after all every week at least one migrant worker dies ( this is because most women i’ve interviewed are subjected to rape, abuse and slave like confinement. Racism is apart of the culture it seems as some University students tell me that they aren’t used to seeing dark skinned people who are not in a position of submission. Even tourists from the Gulf, Europe, Asia and Africa as well as students and professionals are looked upon as the lowest of class (

  19. Anastasia Says:

    A great blog entry. It makes a powerful point very simply, and the comments above are fascinating. I want to alert readers here about a major report on domestic labor abuse in Kuwait that was just released on October 6th ( Most of the points it makes are valid to some degree in all the countries of the region. The report is getting a lot of media attention throughout the Gulf and in the source countries for domestic workers. There’s great reason for hope, I believe; I think we’re on the cusp of seeing this gain broader attention in the global media. I wrote a piece about it too in The Huffington Post last week:

  20. Mohammed Says:

    Dear Maya,

    I would think very carefully before I would use unesesary words like “modern slavery” when discussing the bad working conditions of foreign workers in Kuwait. I actually believe that you like many other foreigner who live in GCC countries are being very naive to say the least. I mean come on Modern slavery? No one forced them on a boat and told them they had to work or be killed. They come from empoverished 3rd world countries, they come sor very low economic backgrounds, they come to kuwait because of the economical benefits. Thats what we call a “free person” not a slave. And yes there are bad employers, much like there are bad employees who sneak out there employees homes to get money in the black market. So why are so many people only seeing one side of this story?
    Im all for the message your cartoon is trying to portray. What i hate is the delivery. Why are these so called “human rights groups” portraying the average kuwaiti as rich cold hearted snobs? Can we please look at the issue at all angles before we pass on judgments. I mean me personally if i were to speak out against an issue it would be about the sweat shops by big corporations in 3rd world countries. But i would be very careful before calling all people who wear clothes made in sweat shops as “Disgusting cold hearted, ugly” nor would I draw them in cartoons as such because i know that all of the people reading this wear clothes made in sweat shops…See the point im trying to make???

  21. LWDLIK Says:

    Thank you for posting. It seems many people are blind and mute when it comes to this subject.

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